So I've been doing some research and I've decided my problem was the tenant screening policy that we are handing out with the application. This was meant as a way to describe to the potential tenants what we will except. This included the obvious stuff: no prior rentals, no felonies, good references from previous land lords. Basically, I got most of it from a website and then added some info of my own. It was long (about a page and a half) and sounded very legally worded. I wasn't trying to scare everyone off, but trying to communicate that we live in a great neighbourhood and we are doing everything we can to screen tenants so that we have good upstanding people living here. Especially since we live right next door to the unit.
So I've totally redone our "tenant screening policy". I'm still going to hand this out to potential tenants with the application. I feel like it covers me so that people will know I'm not discriminating against them for an illegal reason but specifically shows that we expect:
- No previous evictions
- No Felonies
- No more than 2 misdemeanours in the last 5 years
- We will check references, verifying employment and ask for pay stubs.
My point in handing out this tenant screening policy with the application is to protect us from someone saying that we discriminated against them illegally. I don't care what race, religion, etc. etc. anyone is. I will rent to anyone as long as I don't feel they are a financial risk or a safety risk to my family. I'm hoping my new Tenant Screening Policy will communicate that better and not scare anyone off.
I have 3 showings tomorrow, so hopefully this will help get us some qualified applicants.